Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: viktor stalberg
from Szymon Szemberg of IIHF.com,
From U.S. college to the NHL and the World Championship – that’s a route not normally taken by European players. Chicago Blackhawks’ Swedish forward Viktor Stålberg is one of the very few. “For me college was getting the best from two worlds,” says Stålberg to IIHF.com.
The most successful European players who have become NHL and international stars have gone the traditional way of developing at home and taking the step to the NHL when ready. There are 31 Europeans in the NHL who have played 1,000 or more NHL games and only one of them (Slovakia’s Zdeno Chara) played in the Canadian junior leagues before going to the NHL. And Chara played all in all 49 games in the CHL.
Developing your skill at a NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has never been a route of preference for Europeans and there are many reasons for it. One would be the very strict amateur rules. You don’t make a penny and before you enroll you may not play even one single exhibition game on European professional level without risking forfeiting your college eligibility. Many European talents are tested on their pro teams at 17 or 18.
And there are of course academic requirements. You need to handle the language English very well, you need to pass tests and once school starts you need to commit to studying, passing exams parallel to hockey.
continued which includes a Q & A with Stalberg...
As I have mentioned before, the only real shocking resigning to me this off season was that of Viktor Stalberg. I remember saying, “I wonder where Viktor will play next year.” immediately after the season. He basically added nothing to the team offensively (especially after the game where his shot hit the post, the crossbar, and other post -weird indeed- and did not go in) He also had a few mental errors down the stretch that costs us goals. Don’t get me wrong, when he first joined the Hawks, I thought with his speed, he was a great acquisition. One of the few pluses in the off season, salary cap dumping, post Cup, I thought.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
When Viktor Stalberg first started taking on the superstars of the NHL, it was an easy game.
He would fly down the wing or cut to the inside. Shoot high, shoot low and generally be a dominant force in every game he played.
And then he turned off the video game.
When the self-confessed gaming junkie — “I play ever(y) day,” he said Friday — tried that act on the ice against the best professionals in the world, suddenly it wasn’t so simple.
“There’s no question I was (intimidated) at first,” Stalberg said at the MasterCard Centre following the first two-goal game of his career the previous night. “Most of the guys I was playing against in video games for the last four years then you go out there and you are a little star struck. I was like ‘Wow, I’m playing against these guys and have to snap out of it.’ ”